U.S. Supreme Court's Decision on Health Care Law

On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the consitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). In a nutshell, the nation's highest court upheld the law - except for certain Medicaid provisions. The 5 to 4 decision preserves many far-reaching tax provisions and health insurance reforms. In coming months, lawmakers and legal scholars will examine all of the nuances of the Court's highly complex decision. More immediately, individuals and businesses are concerned about what steps they need to take next.

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2012 Social Security Update

The maximum taxable wage base for Social Security for 2012 will rise to $110,100 from $106,800.  As such, the maximum tax will increase by $204.60 to $6,826.20.  Monthly Social Security benefits will increase 3.6 percent, increasing the average monthly benefit to $1,229 from $1,186.  For retirees under full retirement age, the retirement earnings test exempt amount will rise to $14,640 from $14,160.  For every $2 of earnings above this limit, $1 of benefits will be withheld.

Payroll Tax Cut Extended Through 2012

After much negotiation, Congress has extended the two-percent payroll tax cut for employees through the end of 2012.  The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (2011 Tax Cut Act) had temporarily extended the tax cut through the end of February.  However, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (2012 Job Act) now extends the employee payroll tax holiday through the end of 2012 and repeals the 2011 Tax Cut Act recapture provision.

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2012 Mileage Rates

Effective January 1, 2012, the Standard Mileage Rates are revised as follows: 

  • Business Rate = 55.5 cents per mile
  • Medical and Moving Rate = 23 cents per mile (down from 23.5 cents)
  • The Charitable Rate remains unchanged at 14 cents


2012 Philadelphia Wage Tax Rate

The Philadelphia Revenue Department announced the following wage/earnings tax rates for the first half of 2012.  Specifically, the tax rate for January 1, 2012 through July 31, 2012 is:



Congress Passes Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension

At the eleventh hour, Congress approved a two-month extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut in the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011.  The two-month exension, for January and February 2012, is intended to give lawmakers additional time to negotiate a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012.

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